Beauty Basic: Eyebrows part 1: brow theory

Ashley Evert, Assistant L&A&E Editor

Circulating around the internet are hilarious photoshopped photos of celebrities without their eyebrows. Considering the way people look bare-browed, it makes one see how important eyebrows are to the overall look of a person.
Many models and makeup artists agree that if they had to choose one cosmetic to apply before they left the house and forget all others, it would be their brow powder or pencil. Eyebrows frame the eyes like a good haircut frames the face.
Though they may not admit it, both men and women frequent salons and mall kiosks to get their caterpillar brows plucked, waxed and threaded. Most people who come in the salon I work at tell me that they don’t trust themselves to do their own eyebrows.
They either over-tweeze, giving themselves a look of surprise, or don’t do enough and have bushy, untamed brows lend an unkempt look to wearer.
While these unfortunate mishaps keep me busy at the salon, I wanted to share a bit of knowledge I’ve acquired about one of the most important beauty basics out there: grooming eyebrows.
Eyebrow shape and size goes in and out of fashion just like bell bottoms in the 70s and big hair in the 80s. In the 30s, eyebrows were groomed to be very thin and had a very soft “c” shape without much of an arch. In the 40s through 60s, the pinup brow was popular with a thicker beginning, defined arch and thinner end like Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page.
In modern day, a more natural brow is often seen on the runway. The style is tamed but not over plucked; there is a defined arch but it is not dramatically angular.
Of course, I am always an advocate for the client choosing whichever eyebrow shape he or she feels comfortable with. I, myself, sport the classic pinup brow while a close friend of mine loves the bushy, natural brow look.
Despite personal preference, there is a way to measure eyebrow dimensions regardless of thickness. There are three points to measure in an eyebrow: the beginning, the arch and the end.
To measure the outside, or beginning, of the eyebrow, place a pencil or any thin, straight object from the corner of the nose straight up to the inside corner of the eye. Where the pencil hits the brow, it should begin. Any hairs on the “inside” of the pencil above the nose are “unibrow” hairs and should generally be removed.
To measure the arch, pivot the pencil from the corner of the nose to the middle of the iris. Where the pencil lies on the brow is where the arch should be.
Pivot the pencil from the corner of the nose to the outside corner of the eye to find where the eyebrow should end and remove any hairs on the outside of that point.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule but generally those are the three measurements that are used to measure a flattering eyebrow for an individual’s specific features.
Next week, hair removal and filling in eyebrows will be discussed, so check back to learn how to achieve a set of perfectly groomed eyebrows.